11 March 2008

Client-9 bites the dust.

Just once I’d like to see a menacing government official brought down on grounds that are essential, rather than because of some personal scandal. Eliot Spitzer, who has devoted his career to crushing Wall Street and extorting gigantic settlements from wealth creators – the man who, perhaps more than any other, has cast businessmen, the heroes and lifeblood of the civilized world, into a permanently defensive role and a guilty-until-proven-innocent status – is now being accused of … hypocrisy. After the prostitution scandal broke, Ken Langone, a former NYSE director who was sued by Spitzer said, “I have never had any doubt about his lack of character and integrity – and he’s proven me correct.”

These are very poor grounds upon which to denounce the man. Sure, there may be some relief and even satisfaction that a menace has lost his fangs, but it is only temporary. The implication is that if only Mr. Spitzer did not have sex with high-class prostitutes, if only he had scrupulously maintained his personal integrity as he pursued his power lusting crusade against so-called “white collar criminals,” he would be unassailable. From this viewpoint, it is not his philosophy that is wrong, but simply his hypocrisy; it is not his assault on free citizens that is wrong, but simply his self-righteous glee.


LB said...

At the risk of appearing too prurient and not appreciating the point of your post...don't you wonder what the heck $55,000 a night buys you?

SB said...

Well, I heard that it was $5500, not $55000! (Although, maybe the it's $5500 per hour, which could ring up quite a bill, especially if you fall asleep.)

LB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LB said...

Okay, I just read in the NY Post that it was $1000 an hour. While he stayed for only 2.5 hours, he paid $4,300. Still..?

I figured at $55,000 you'd at least get to keep the leaded crystal glasses, the 400 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, and maybe a few pieces from Design Within Reach. Yeah, baby, that's what I'm talking about!